EDITORIAL: UN climate gabfest: No vaccine? No problem
Bad enough that 20,000 people will be pouring into Glasgow, Scotland from all over the world next month for the latest United Nations meeting on climate change, leaving a massive carbon footprint in their wake.
To add insult to injury, they don’t have to be vaccinated to attend.
That’s right. To eat in a restaurant in Toronto you have to be able to show proof you’ve been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days.
But not at a massive UN conference.
As Postmedia columnist Rex Murphy wrote in the National Post:
“As always, cause trumps science. People with the right attitudes on the right subjects do not carry the burdens that everyone else must carry. If you try to eat a doughnut inside a Tim Hortons without ‘showing your papers’, you are a reckless villain. Travel by the planeload to Glasgow, spend two weeks huddled with multi-thousands exempted from the COVID-19 commandments, and you are a planet-saving hero.”
These annual UN conferences, rightly mocked by British musician Matt Bellamy as “Private Jets for Climate Change”, have always had a credibility problem given that they spew greenhouse gas emissions while lecturing everyone else to live a low carbon lifestyle.
This year, while political leaders attending the conference will again demonize fossil fuels, their own governments are scrambling to secure scarce supplies of oil, natural gas and coal to power their countries out of the global recession caused by the pandemic.
This as it begins to recede because of the increased availability of vaccines.
The reason is that energy sources such as wind and solar power can’t do the job because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, which is why they have to be backed up by fossil fuels.